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Hubbell v. World Kitchen

June 9, 2010

JANICE L. HUBBELL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WORLD KITCHEN, LLC, WORLD KITCHEN, INC., UNITED STEEL WORKERS OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO-CLC-LOCAL 53 A.K.A. THE UNITED STEEL, PAPER AND FORESTRY, RUBBER, MANUFACTURING, ENERGY, ALLIED INDUSTRIAL AND SERVICE WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION, AND UNITED STEELWORKERS OF AMERICA D-10 (INTERNATIONAL), DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joy Flowers Conti United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Conti, District Judge

I. Introduction

Pending before the court is a motion for reconsideration (Docket No. 89) filed by United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO-CLC-Local 53 ("USW Local 53") and United Steelworkers of America District 10 ("USW D-10," and together with USW Local 53, the "USW entities" or the "Union"). For the reasons that follow, the motion will be denied.

II. Legal Standard

A motion for reconsideration is typically granted only if one of three situations is shown: "(1) an intervening change in controlling law, (2) the availability of new evidence not previously available, or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice." Reich v. Compton , 834 F.Supp. 753, 755 (E.D. Pa. 1993)(citing Dodge v. Susquehanna Univ. , 796 F.Supp. 829, 830 (M.D.Pa. 1992).

Because of the interest in finality, at least at the district court level, motions for reconsideration should be granted sparingly; the parties are not free to relitigate issues the court has already decided. Rottmund v. Continental Assurance Co. , 813 F.Supp. 1104, 1107 (E.D.Pa. 1992). Stated another way, a motion for reconsideration is not properly grounded in a request for a district court to rethink a decision it has already made, rightly or wrongly.

Williams v. Pittsburgh , 32 F.Supp.2d 236, 238 (W.D. Pa. 1998).

III. Discussion*fn1

The USW entities argue that the court erred in denying their motion for summary judgment with respect to the claims asserted by plaintiff Janice L. Hubbell ("Hubbell") concerning the failure of the Union to grieve her ten-day suspension for an incident occurring on June 1, 2006. (Doc. No. 90 at 4-12.) In a prior memorandum opinion dated February 24, 2010, the court determined that a genuine issue of material fact existed about whether Hubbell's employer, World Kitchen, LLC ("World Kitchen"), discriminated against her on the basis of sex when it imposed the suspension. Hubbell v. World Kitchen, LLC, et al. , Civil Action No. 06-1686, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16209, at **59-72 (W.D.Pa. Feb. 24, 2010). The court also determined that a genuine issue of material fact existed concerning whether the USW entities discriminated against Hubbell on the basis of sex by abandoning the grievance process after James Watt ("Watt"), a staff representative for USW D-10, viewed a surveillance tape depicting the incident in question. Id. at **89-91. Only the latter determination is presently at issue.

Hubbell's claims arise under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"), 43 P A. S TAT. §§ 951 et seq. The language of Title VII prohibiting sex and other kinds of discrimination by labor organizations is codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(c), which provides:

(c) Labor organization practices. It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a labor organization--

(1) to exclude or to expel from its membership, or otherwise to discriminate against, any individual because of his race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify its membership or applicants for membership, or to classify or fail or refuse to refer for employment any individual, in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities, or would limit such employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee or as an applicant ...


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